Much has been made here in America the last couple years of “the war against Christmas”, as some people call every instance of someone saying “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas”, or “Holiday Tree” rather than “Christmas Tree”. Of course, there are those who love to point out that there’s nothing Christian about the “Christmas Tree”- it’s really a pagan tradition. But for a real mix of Christian and Pagan, with resulting fireworks, (literally!) look to Sweden!
You see, in Sweden, Christmas gifts for the boys and girls are brought by the dwarf Jultomten, in a sleigh drawn by the Christmas Goat, Julbok. What, you’ve never heard of the Julbok? It evolved from medieval Sweden, when Thor, the Norse god of thunder, rode in a wagon pulled by goats to deliver Christmas presents, and is a favorite Christmas ornament The city of Gavle celebrates this tradition every year by building an enormous Julbok downtown. Unfortunately, vandals burn it down every year.
But not this year! After last year’s vandalism- conducted by Santa Claus and the Gingerbread Man- Gavle turned to the aviation industry for fireproofing expertise, and swear that not even napalm could take down this year’s Julbok! Hail Thor, Happy Yule!